HELP! Sick hen, bloated abdomen

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Blisschick, Nov 13, 2007.

  1. Blisschick

    Blisschick not rusty

    Feb 20, 2007
    Shepherd, Texas
    I found one of my original hens, Best Bird, sitting in the pen this morning all hunched up with her tail and wings drooping and looking just miserable. I noticed she had poop on her backend, and when I picked her up, I felt that her abdomen is swollen and sort of firm, but not hard. She also feels a little underweight, so apparently she's not been feeling well for awhile now. All the hens in that pen have pretty much stopped laying...I get only the occasional egg now, so I'm wondering if maybe she isn't eggbound. When I went to wash her backend off, she pooped some, and it was just watery with some clear yellowish goo. I have the impression that she can't pass poo readily, and I'm not sure if this is because of the pressure in her from the fluid or something else. Does anyone have any idea what could be going on here? None of my other hens have shown any sign of being sick.

    If she's eggbound, how would I know for sure?
  2. EweSheep

    EweSheep Flock Mistress

    Jan 12, 2007
    Land of Lincoln
    Sounds like egg bound to me....I had to put down two pullets because of it and the severity of the condition as well.
  3. Blisschick

    Blisschick not rusty

    Feb 20, 2007
    Shepherd, Texas
    I know people have saved eggbound hens before...I just want to get an idea what else could be wrong with her. I'd hate to have to put her down. [​IMG][​IMG]
  4. SpottedCrow

    SpottedCrow Flock Goddess

    It's not a given that you'd have to put her down. Obelisk was eggbound the first year that she laid. I put her in a warm bath for about a half an hour to relax the muscles, Then I dried her off and kept her warm. You can give Black Oil Sunflower Seeds to help make the eggs move through easier. Apple Cider Vinegar with the mother, in the water and Oyster shell calcium free choice can help too.
  5. Blisschick

    Blisschick not rusty

    Feb 20, 2007
    Shepherd, Texas
    I gave her a warm soak, and now she's sitting in a towel here in my lap. She's still very alert, but she's not protesting anything I do.

    I felt her abdomen while she was soaking, gently massaging towards the vent. I'm still getting a little watery poo, but not much. I also didn't feel anything that might be solid like an egg. I heard smacking noises when I did this, and noticed that she still has scratch grain in her crop from yesterday. Is it possible that she's constipated? Also, if I fed her some veggie or olive oil, do you think that might help?
  6. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    Could it be acities?
  7. Blisschick

    Blisschick not rusty

    Feb 20, 2007
    Shepherd, Texas
    I hope not...I don't know what to do for her. [​IMG][​IMG]
  8. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    I'm not sure exactly what her problem is, but I had a hen a few months ago when it was deadly hot that suddenly was very thin, just a bag of bones. She was staying in the nest for hours and once laid the contents of an egg, scaring me that the shell was still inside. She acted like she was trying to lay for days and days. I'd get an egg with a membrane then one with a flexible shell then that one I described. She started staying on the roost. We soaked her in warm water just in case an egg was stuck we couldn't feel. No egg ever came. I fed her plain yogurt with active cultures and on the recommendation of Diana (dlunicorn) fed her an emergency crushed up Tums in that yogurt for a shot of calcium and watched her closely. I could feel no egg inside her, either. After watching her closely, she suddenly began dropping feathers and was in a hard molt. Her problem was a combination of heat stress and the onset of her first real molt. After the egg yolk laid in the nest, she quit laying for two weeks then I noticed her feathers were growing in, then suddenly she was laying again. Now, she's fat and sassy. I'm not sure how much of this applies, but it sounded similar to your situation, minus the heat stress.
  9. Blisschick

    Blisschick not rusty

    Feb 20, 2007
    Shepherd, Texas
    I hasn't been real hot here lately, so I doubt if it's heat related. None of the hens in the pen have laid much at all for awhile...I get maybe 3 eggs a week from a pen of 10 hens, so I honestly don't believe she's eggbound. She's about 3 yrs. old and has never had a health issue before, so I'm really stumped. I did notice while I was soaking her she has a lot of new feathers coming in, but then most everyone has either molted or is in the process.

    I would just hate to lose her because I'm very partial to her. She's the only one of my original flock I kept when I sold them this past spring. [​IMG]
  10. BlueMoon

    BlueMoon Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 3, 2007
    Scenic Verbank, NY
    Regardless if she's egg bound or has ascites, I reckon starvation could be one of the biggest threats.

    My egg bound hen would eat, but greatly preferred small bits and elevated to her. She seemed to crave anything moist - steamed butternut squash was a hit, insides of tomatoes, but she also would nibble at steak, hamburger and moist cat food. Egg yolks too, not as crazy for yogurt or sour cream, but certainly tried those too.

    Good luck to you both and please let us know how things work out

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